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Do you have the bobbin in correctly? Clockwise or counterclockwise...
Is the needle in correctly? It could be backwards.
Rethread the bobbin if the thread is not wound on properly...too fast makes the thread too tight, too slow and it can wrap onto the bobbin in a haphazard way.
Check to be sure have the correct needle for your machine...matches stitch etc..
If your machine is electronic...turn it off so it goes back to any default settings.
seems like a lot, but one little thing...
That is called "thread nesting," and several things can cause it. The upper thread enters the bobbin area during sewing, catches the bobbin thread, and as the needle goes up, pulls the stitch tight. Something is catching the upper thread as it goes around. The most common reasons are the bobbin or bobbin case (or both) is improperly inserted; the bobbin is warped (roll it down a flat surface--if it wobbles, it's warped), either the case or the bobbin is not seated evenly, there is a rough spot on the bobbin case that is catching the thread, or your bobbin is loosely/badly wound. You need to rule out the possibilities step by step until you find the cause. First, review your threading procedures from start to finish, using your user's manual. Then, without fabric, turn the hand wheel by hand (ALWAYS towards you) to see if you can see it start to catch. The top thread should rotate smoothly in the bobbin area. You should be able to pin-point the cause that way.
I know you've said you have checked the tensions but that usually is the problem. When you pull on the top thread after it goes through the tension but before you thread it through the needle is there some tension but not so much that it breaks when you gently pull on it? It will be a bit harder to pull it at the point after it goes through the needle but it should have a bit of give there too without breaking.
Also check the bobbin again. Take it out of the machine and examine how the thread is wound around the bobbin. Is it all criss crossed or is it fairly evenly wound? Is it in the right direction and through the tension slot? Now dangle it by the thread while in the bobbin case. It should not just reel out to the floor but should slip a bit with some tension and hang there. A slight **** of the wrist should cause it to release a bit more thread and drop a bit more to the floor. It should allow slip but it shouldn't just reel out fast.
When you reinsert the bobbin case into the machine you should feel/hear a slight click as it catches into place.
Also check the needle though that usually isn't what causes this kind of problem.
The thread will break when it has no 'give'. Either the tensions aren't quite right or it is catching somewhere along the way through the various guides where you thread it. Oh and make sure the spool itself is freely turning on the spindle! Sometimes it is because of catching at that point and simply turning the spool upside down so it can't catch will solve the problem ! :)
there are a couple of things that come to mind.
Bobbin: wound with uneven tension. Try taking the bobbin, rewind that thread onto another bobbin and wind slowly. make sure the thread feeds onto the new bobbin evenly.
upper thread: catching on something or not flowing off the spool easily.
you're doing well, sounds like you consulted the manual and used your noggin, hang in there and let me know if this doesn't help. we can troubleshoot some more!
Sounds like you have to take off the throat plate and clean out threads under it. Sometime they ball up and prevent the needle from going down and catching the bobbin thread. You can't see themuntil you take off the plate. Follow the directions. It is easy.